Float

Love should be a spectator sport,
Said a man who liked to float
Between my unprotected port
And his luxurious Isle of Wife—
This man taught me much of life.
Heisenberg, he named his boat:
If you tried to measure speed
He vanished
O’er the horizon;
If you tried to find him
You’d never know how fast
He traveled.
Like an uncashed check,
This man drifted,
Bank to bank,
Living off the interest
Generated by his mystery…
Until the day
I remembered
How to make my own waves
And floated off untrammeled.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Measure

Time Pieces

My mother had some old watches and pocket watches she picked up here and there at estate sales and such, and now I have them. I tried to sell them once and was told they had no value, so I keep them tucked away. I’m glad I didn’t get rid of them after all. They’ve grown on me.

This is a plain pocket watch with no cover. It says “Waltham” on the face. This piece is two inches in diameter and feels heavy in my hand.

Time4

This is the back. It has a cool geometrical pattern/logo, but no words.

Time5

This piece is smaller and lighter, about an inch and a half in diameter, but it’s thicker and more complex, as you’ll see. This is the front.

Time6

It flips open to reveal the clock’s face sideways. “Elgin” is printed on the face. The back of the cover says “Keystone” and has a serial number (1194946).

Time10

This is supercool ~ the back opens to show gears and stuff!

Time9

Next up is a ladies’ bracelet watch. It’s very delicate and pretty. It says “Victoria” on the face and nothing on the back. The clasp says “Hadley” with a patent number.

Time1

The last is another bracelet watch, a Bulova. I like it a lot, though its face is scratched up. I might get it cleaned up and working someday so I can wear it for real. I used to wear it anyway, just for fun, but then I decided it was bad luck and stopped.

Time2

The reason this watch is so special is because it’s engraved on the back. I imagine a husband gave it to his wife for Christmas in 1947. I’ve decided he fought in WW2 and she waited for him.

Time3

My mother died today, nine years ago. I love her and miss her every day. Her voice and presence are both still right here, almost, as if she just left the room a few minutes ago. Nothing has changed in all this time.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Timely

Second Draft

The moon is golden full;
My heart is empty null.
All that wasted space
Unrecycled
Yet I know I did the right thing;
The moon man nods so slightly.
He saw it all unravel;
He watched lust turn to gravel.
The stars wink in agreement;
Planets are unanimous—
There is no one left to ask.
God said I should leave him;
Satan handed me a cleaver.
The angels fluttered nervous—
No worries it was mercy,
No blood no wounds
To disturb the moon.
Stay golden—
I revel in your fullness,
I grab a slice of light
And I am ready for the rewrite.

[From Depth Perception]

The Daily Prompt: Unravel

Dissolution

In the beginning, Sea and Terra lived as husband and wife intermixed together on Earth.

Eons passed and Terra grew restless. One day she announced to Sea, “I need my own space.”

Sea didn’t want to separate from Terra, but he didn’t argue. He retreated, at first methodically and then erratically, until Terra decided she had enough room for herself.

“Thank you!” she said. “We’ll both be happier this way.”

Sea didn’t feel happy, but he stayed quiet and watched as Terra flirted with Sun and began to blossom. Tangled jungles grew around her waist, decorated with fragrant flowers of every hue and shape. Insects and winds scattered their seeds. Apple trees grew to the North over Terra’s breasts. Sea watched with amazement as every part of her burst forth with lush vegetation and new creatures. Sun was always around to help nourish the burgeoning greenery.

Sometimes Sun overdid it and the plants died. Then there was only scorched sand for miles and miles with dangerous snakes crawling around the edges. Sea smiled to himself when he saw these barren deserts, for he had a secret. In his shallows, and floating discreetly on his surface, Sea hosted billions of beautiful plants and flowers. Some of them even took nourishment from Sun when Sun wasn’t paying attention. Sea felt no need to announce this to Terra. He found he enjoyed keeping secrets.

After a few million years, she commented, “Sea, I know you’re still sulking. Don’t you think it’s time you moved on? We’re never getting back together because I am madly in love with Sun!”

Sea shrugged and a giant tsunami swept over Terra’s Southern thigh, destroying some of her creatures. This made her very upset and she didn’t talk to Sea again for over ten thousand years. He was not unhappy about that. If they weren’t going to be together, he would rather she leave him alone.

As Terra continued her romance with Sun, and new creatures evolved upon her various surfaces, Sea grew depressed, stopped moving, and ice formed at his poles. He suspected she had always loved Sun and never him. This idea permeated every bit of his being, making him feel colder and colder, and since there was so much of him, this chill began to affect the entire planet.

“I’m freezing!” Terra complained. “All my Northern plants and animals are dying off. Can’t you do something?”

“What do you want me to do?” Sea said.

Terra smiled up at Sun, which made Sea sick. “Fall in love! Then you’ll be happy again.”

“I loved you, Terra,” Sea told her. Waves of his tears splashed over her lands. “There is no one else.”

“Sea, do you know something?” Terra said. “All this time, Moon has been in love with you.”

Moon? Sea slowly lifted his enormous watery eyes to gaze up at the night sky.

There, in a black velvet blanket spangled with stars, glowed Moon. Her eyes were steady orbs, her face a familiar comfort with a small, shy, but unmistakable smile.

Sea shook his mighty head and giant waves rushed across the Western shores.

“Stop!” Terra cried. “You’re so moody! Just be calm. Think about Moon and how lovely she is.”

As requested, Sea calmed, but he did not want to think about Moon. He turned inward and gazed at his favorite coral reef. A graceful pair of pink dolphins captured his attention. He watched them somersault through the turquoise waves on the morning side of the Earth. Whitecaps hissed gently to shore around the islands as diving birds swooped across the sky.

All day Sea’s mind remained blank. He refused to consider Moon, but the bitter jealousy toward Terra and Sun had subsided. He simply observed his water creatures and he felt the ocean reeds sway beneath his undulations. This made him content. As the sky began to darken, he listened to the birds sing, but then he realized Moon would be coming around again.

Sea could have changed his focus to the West, where morning painted the sky, but he remained in his Eastern mind and waited for Moon to fully rise. There she was! He felt her tug at his tides slightly and understood he’d grown so used to this in the eons since he and Terra parted that he had been taking Moon for granted.

“You’ve been a good friend to me, dear Moon,” Sea said. “I should have told you so sooner.”

Moon proffered her shadowy smile. “Thank you,” she whispered.

Sea appreciated her understated cool silvery beauty as a balance to his wild moods. Let Terra have the bold bright beaming Sun; Moon was the perfect counterpart for Sea. He only wished he had seen the truth a billion years ago. Sea’s waves churned with agitation as he fretted that he might have hurt Moon’s feelings.

“Shh,” Moon whispered. “Everything is all right.”

Soothed by Moon’s serenity, Sea unruffled himself for that night and many following. While he didn’t directly express his love toward Moon, nor she toward him, in the blatant ways that Terra and Sun announced their emotions, each night for millennia Sea and Moon cherished each other in quiet reverence.

Sea and Moon.

Moon and Sea.

And so it was.

And so it shall be.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Moody

Paused

I am the desert:
My skin is swept with sand
Across a shelf of stone;
My hair is spiked with thorns.

Daylight bakes me into crust;
I release the warmth at night
To a spangled, velvet sky.

I wait for candy-drops of rain,
When scarlet will erupt
From shriveled fingertips.

[Revised from 1989 version]

~*~
The Daily Prompt: Pause

Date with a Vet

Kevin was
Too old for me, but
He knew where to get good drugs.
Guys my age
Don’t like to smoke pot anymore–
They’re too busy making money.
Kevin discussed
His failed relationships
And growth experiences;
He said,
“There’s nothing I’ve done
That Jackson Browne hasn’t
Sung about.”
Later we walked by the lake
On slippery stones
And cold night sand;
The stars had
Someplace better to go.
I asked Kevin if he,
You know,
Ever killed anybody over there,
And he said,
“You bet I did, baby.
I shot ’em dead.”
Kevin called
A few months later–
Said he was having trouble
Meeting people
(He meant women)
Here in the Windy City–
Thought he’d join Club Med.
I wished him luck, but
Today I read
That Jackson Browne has been
With the same woman for
Several years
And they might even get married.
So, I don’t know
Who’s going to record our culture now.

[originally written in 1989]

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Later

A Territorial Story

I wanted to be your moon,
Distant and removed,
But necessary
As gravity;
You were my only focus.

While you tilted elsewhere,
I evolved to revolve,
Resolved to be resolute,
Orbiting in tribute.
But I was too creepy
In my silent devotion—
Round and round,
Full, half, harvest, dark,
Managing your oceans.

I learned to parallel park
By necessity
In the crowded airless
Density
Of nothingness.
I confess,
I was served
The restraining order
Yesterday.

Sometimes moons get distracted
By stars.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Territory

Approaching Lavender

I adore every shade of purple, from lavender to plum. When I was nine and we moved to New Jersey, my mother indulged my love for purple by finding beautiful violet-flowered wallpaper for my new bedroom and creating a Barbie house to match. She painted an accent wall for my room a medium violet and it was fab. I don’t have photos unfortunately; we weren’t into snapping pics of everything so much back in those days, except on vacations. It’s too bad about no pics of the Barbie house especially, since that truly was a masterpiece with different rooms and a guest cottage for cousin Skipper.

I’ve always wanted to love the scent of lavender, but sadly I hate it. I do love this song by Gordon Lightfoot however.

The Daily Prompt: Purple

Gatsby & Greenery

G&G

The Daily Post Photo Challenge:
It IS Easy Being Green!

Flip-Flops

My secretary left me for my husband, but still I wore my charcoal Theory suit and Gucci pumps to work Monday because it’s important to keep an image going.

“Sorry about Laura,” Hobson said. “I need a copy of the Canary contract.”

I looked for it in between checking the fourth quarter projections and trying to convince my mother to go over to my house and change all the locks. My feet hurt, so I took off the Guccis and shoved them in a drawer. Laura wasn’t answering her phone. They were probably lounging around in bed all day, assuming I’d support them. It’s true I’m almost too busy to bother hiring a divorce lawyer. Not to mention a tax accountant.

“Maybe I could write them off,” I said to Hobson.

“That’s funny,” he replied with a tight smile. “Have you found the contract yet?”

So, at lunchtime I drove over to Laura’s apartment. It was right at the beach, of course. My husband likes to surf. Second floor. I clomped up the stairs in my Guccis and snagged my stockings on the railing. The air smelled of coconut oil and rotting vegetables. Laura opened the door. She wore a lime green camisole, pink shorts, and turquoise flip-flops with sequins on the straps.

“Oh,” she said. “He isn’t here.”

“No, no,” I reassured her. “I want you. I mean, I need you to tell me where you put the Canary files. Please.”

I didn’t like to beg, but this was business.

Her head tipped back as it does when she’s riffling through the card file in her brain. Laura has a photographic memory, which is one of the reasons she was such a great secretary. I knew then I’d miss her more than I’d miss him. Her sequined feet winked up at me.

“In storage cage twelve,” she said. “Unlabeled. Sorry.” She glanced away.

“It’s okay,” I told her. It really was. I didn’t have time for a husband. Tomorrow I’d hire a new secretary to type up the labels. Everything would be fine.

I clomped back down the steps to my Audi. As I beeped open the door with my electronic key, a seagull pooped on my four hundred dollar shoes.

“That’s when,” I say. “That’s the moment I decided to dump the partnership and open my nude portrait studio.” I wiggle my toes in my ten dollar flip-flops. They’re tan and have little seashells glued to the straps. I swirl my brush around the peach paint and gaze at my subject.

“You do seem much less stressed,” Hobson says as he reaches for the grapes.

“Perfect,” I say. “Stay just like that.”

[from Burnt Offerings]

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Label